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January 11, 2009

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politically incorrect

Yes, mistakes happen all the time, and you're fortunate that you have connections with the CNN so they can correct things quickly. But many other people do not have this luxury. Since mistakes (with huge consequences) happen all the time in journalism, it would be helpful for journalists not to appear so self-righteous in their reports/comments, as they often do now. I find far too many journalists lack a sense of humbleness towards the people/countries/subjects they cover.

Doug

I'd like to echo the previous commenters comments. You used to work for CNN, so I am assuming this is what gave you the leverage to correct what had been done incorrectly. That's a great advantage for you, but not many other people have this kind of power.

I would also like to commend you for making this issue public, since I think it might help the intern in the long-term and it may also aid CNN, by making it more transparent and more journalistically rigorous.

Elliott Ng

How frustrating.

Interesting point about how people tend to attribute more intelligence and intent to their adversaries than they deserve. This goes for both Chinese censorship (aka Isaac's Keystone Cops) and for Western media bias.

I will vouch for you not being a HK separatist. :)

Aurelie

Great post.

People tend to give the media more power than it really has - they remember Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, but the media as a whole is really just a "paper monster" full of interns and under-trained rookies, especially after so many cuts in staff and budget.

Just looking at the atrocious mistakes in articles published on local newspapers' websites (for local news) gives an idea of how dire the situation has become - I see "you're" instead of "your" more often than I care to admit, and many, many sentences that don't even make sense. Apparently, someone decided good reporting could survive without editors.

The sad thing in your case is, you'd think that someone who has landed an internship at CNN is among the best journalists-in-training the country has to offer. I find it incredible the woman didn't realize how careful she had to be in quoting interviewees, especially on a topic as sensitive as China and Hong Kong.

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